An Introduction to Jackson Heights

As is much of New York City, Jackson heights is a very diverse area. It is located in Queens County, and is very close to certain sites with heavy traffic made up of locals, and visitors alike. These include (but are not limited to) LaGuardia Airport, flushing meadows park (known for its sculpture in the shape of a globe), and City field. These sites help bring even more people to Jackson heights and help the community thrive.

Though Jackson Heights has a very broad ethnic demographic, the major part of the population that makes up Jackson Heights consists of South Asians, and South Americans.  What makes it a very peculiar or interesting place is that unlike many parts of NYC, which are known for showcasing the culture of one particular culture more than others such as Chinatown, or K-town, Jackson heights is known by three nicknames. The first two are little India, and Little Pakistan. This is because there is a very large population of South Asians, and so Jackson Heights is full of Supermarkets which have fresh Indian spices, and frozen Indian foods for those that want to eat food that reminds them of back home without slaving over the stove for days in order to make it. There are salons, which feature henna tattoos, and threading which are very popular in India, and barber shops, that are lively with conversations in people’s native languages. Barbers, and customers alike watch anxiously as their countries cricket team is playing for the pride of their country.

Of course, the streets are also full of restaurants that feature mixes of different south Asian cuisine. There are buffets, higher end restaurants, affordable restaurants, cafes which offer Indian style coffee and tea with Indian snacks, Indian dessert shops which have windows lined with desserts that call out to children and adults alike because it reminds the older generations of their childhood growing up in their native country. However the most amazing thing is that if you walk through the streets it actually looks like India or Pakistan in a way. As mentioned the shops are like India’s shops, and children run around worry free playing cricket and many of the games which are played back in India, and many people dress in the traditional Indian or Pakistani custom.

However another nickname that Jackson heights has is “little Colombia.” This is very foreseeable as Jackson Heights in located in Queens County which has the largest Colombian population in The United States. As one walks away from the Indian looking part of Jackson heights you run into an area, which is full of Colombian restaurants and Bakeries, which offer the best Colombian fresh baked breads, and foods, as well as desserts.

This is interesting in the two major cultures that coexist in Jackson Heights peacefully are so different, however they somehow meld into one. Many times one can see South Americans in the Indian restaurants, and vice versa. In fact my family loves to buy Colombian bread whenever we go to Jackson Heights, and so do many other Indians, and Pakistani’s in the area. All in all, Jackson Heights is a very diverse ethnic melting pot which peacefully lets people from different cultures share their diverse foods, and cultures with each other and enjoy each others presence and learn from each other, which is what I believe America was founded to be like. One place where all could coexist in peace and harmony and where one could express themselves for their own benefit and for the enjoyment of others. So if anyone would like to experience south Asian or Colombian cuisine, Jackson Heights is the place to go